Safari 1.3

16 April 2005

Safari 1.3 is out. Dave Hyatt has assembled the highlights of the update. And there's a lot: improvements to CSS and DOM support as well as JavaScript performance; also, support for contenteditable and client-side XSLT.

One important thing Dave doesn't mention is that there's now a real JavaScript console – hidden away from the average user in the Debug menu. Not sure how well it works yet, but suffice to say that JavaScript debugging is going to be essential for Dashboard widget development, so it'd better be great.

Safari 1.3 is equivalent to the upcoming Safari 2 in Tiger when it comes to the underlying engine. Making the enhancements available for both Panther and Tiger users is a very good thing for web developers: it means that in a couple of months, we can completely forget about the flaws in Safari 1.2 that have been fixed for 1.3. Panther users will get the update automatically via Software Update.

One feature I had hoped would get implemented isn't, though: a way to programmatically manipulate the selection in <textarea>s. This is what makes the Wikipedia formatting toolbar work, an approach we adopted for Trac. While there's no standard in the HTML DOM for doing this, both IE/Win and Gecko provide proprietary APIs for it. Something equivalent in Safari would have been nice.